Small Press Spotlight
In our modern age of publishing conglomerates, it’s all too easy for independent presses to get lost in the cracks between giants such as Random House, Penguin Putnam and HarperCollins. Not that these outfits don’t publish good works, especially through imprints such as Vintage, Viking, and Ecco. But there are hundreds of independent presses out there, diligently working away to provide countless alternatives.
This section of The Modern Word will shine a spotlight on some of these small presses, publishers that we feel are making significant contributions to modern literature. Some of these presses champion a particular genre, style, or movement; while others have a more broad focus. All of them are run by a handful of talented and committed people, and all share a sense of purpose and a love of good books.
Each Small Press Spotlight will feature an introduction to the press, an interview with the publisher, and some comments on notable publications.

Featured Presses

Exact Change
Exact Change publishes books of experimental literature with an emphasis on Surrealism, Dada, Pataphysics, and other nineteenth and twentieth century avant-garde art movements.

The home of author Ronald Sukenick, Fiction Collective Two specializes in “artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.”

Graywolf Press
Publishers of a broad range of fine modern literature, Graywolf is marked by “a commitment to quality and a willingness to embrace or invent new models.”

Hippocampus Press
Based in New York City, Hippocampus specializes in works related to the early pulp writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lord Dunsany.


Prime Books
Established in late 2001, Prime Books specializes in publishing literate works of science fiction, dark fantasy, and horror.

Small Beer Press
Based in Massachusettes, Small Beer considers themselves “an international combine, the old-fashioned kind.”

Top Shelf
Founded in 1997, Top Shelf publishes a wide range of “craft comics that appeal to today’s connoisseurs of superb narrative art.”